It was a sombre mood among relatives as the military court yesterday jailed six soldiers, among them two junior officers of the elite Special Forces Command to 15 years for plotting to overthrow the government
It was a sombre mood among relatives as the military court yesterday jailed six soldiers, among them two junior officers of the elite Special Forces Command to 15 years for plotting to overthrow the government.
The other suspects are four men who worked in various capacities in the Office of the Coordinator of Intelligence Services formerly headed by Gen David Sejusa, alias Tinyefuza.
Relatives shed tears after the General Court Martial at Makindye sentenced the group that was convicted of treachery and aiding commission of offence two weeks ago.
On July 5, the court chaired by Lt Gen Andrew Gutti held that prosecution proved the charges of treachery and abetting commission of offence against the accused persons.
Those jailed are Lance Corporals Grace Nasasira Rwakyozi, 39, and Geoffrey Mwebaze Karuhanga, 36, of SFC’s Task force Battalion and Tank Battalion, respectively who were convicted over treachery while Mr Frank Ninsiima, who was an operative in Tinyefuza’s office, was found guilty of aiding or abetting commission of offence.
Others jailed are: James Karuhanga Nayebare, Moses Nuwagaba Kakarugahi and Abel Twinamasiko, alias Rubanuma.
“The offence of treachery is serious in nature and of great consequence to the security of the country.The accused persons were convicted on two charges which attract death as maximum sentence, but courts are reluctant to give long sentences,” said Lt Gen Gutti.
“We are guided by the 1995 Constitution and the sentencing guidelines to consider the three years the convicts have spent on remand,” he added.
However, the convicts through their lawyer, Mr David Mushabe, said they would appeal against the court decision.
“I have instructions to appeal because of the glaring errors in the proceedings which can only be rectified by the Court of Appeal. Both the sentence and the conviction spring from a wrong grounds and the punishment itself is excessive in nature,” said Mr Mushabe.
He asked court to urgently provide them with typed proceedings to enable the convicts pursue justice from a higher court.
Court heard that the two soldiers and others still at large, in or around the months of March to May 2013, and while in the areas of Mityana and Kampala, “consciously failed to disclose to proper authorities vital information about the recruitment of people to engage in activities intended to overthrow the legitimate government of Uganda”.
Court records show that the two SFC soldiers, then based in Mityana, were procured by their co-accused persons to recruit colleague presidential guards into “subversive activities”.
Witnesses also told court that Mr Nayebale, Mr Nuwagaba and soldier/ businessman, Mr Abel Twinamasiko in the two months, conspired with others to aid, abet, counsel and procure other persons to overthrow Gen Museveni’s government.
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